Why should the kids have all the fun?

Cooranbong Valley Community Pre-School launches community Street Library where the philosophy is ‘take a book, bring a book’

David Stewart

Why should the kids have all the fun?

What started as a book swap project for children at Cooranbong Valley Community Preschool has grown into the town’s first community street library.

It’s a place where locals of all ages, and visitors to the area, are invited to pick up and take home a book to read, and to donate their old books for others to enjoy.

Preschool teaching Director Leonie Norman said the premise was simple.

“The street library philosophy is ‘take a book, bring a book’,” Ms Norman said.

The Preschool was heavily committed to encouraging literacy among the children, she said.

“In term four each Tuesday the Cooranbong Community Preschool offered a free book swap for families with that ‘take a book, bring a book’ philosophy.

“We wanted to extend and share our literacy objective with the wider community.”

And so the community street library was created on the lawn out the front of the Preschool on Freemans Drive.

A glass-fronted cabinet houses about 200 titles – ranging from early readers for tiny tots, to fiction for teenagers, and thrillers and classics for adults.

Providing the books was one thing, but Ms Norman also wanted to provide a space for people to sit and enjoy their reading.

“Bunnings kindly donated a bench, and my son-in-law Carl Foster installed it all because I wanted to create a quiet, peaceful space where people could just sit, relax, and be.”

The bench sits on the lawn next to the book cabinet, and Ms Norman said there were plans to create a small garden around it all.

Ms Norman said the street library was launched at the end of December, and the community had been quick to support it.

Parents of children at the Preschool made generous donations off their own bookshelves.

The community street library has been registered with Community Library Australia, and appears on the organisation’s map of street libraries, with details of the Cooranbong project.

The Preschool, meanwhile, would continue it’s strong focus on literacy by again getting involved in annual events such as Indigenous Literacy Day, and the Australian Reading Hour, in September, as well as Children’s Book Week, in August.

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